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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Newport RI Sunset
Sunset over Newport Rhode Island
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"The Main Question"

"What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" (Matthew 27:22).

Today we will all deal with a lot of questions. Many are minor and routine. Some questions are verbalized by others; some we are working through on our own. Am I going to have a leftover piece of strawberry/rhubarb pie for breakfast or a bowl of grapenuts?  But there are huge questions that can easily be overlooked amidst the hustle and bustle of life.

The daily text is a question that Pilate asked the crowd at the time of our Lord's trial.  Pilate had seen the flimsy evidence. He had heard the cautions of his wife.  In examining the text one can detect a wavering in Pilate's own personal convictions.  But rather than act on principle he polled the crowd
(politicians haven't changed much have they?) and the majority cried out, "Crucify Him!"  

But I consider Pilate's question and see it as a fitting expression of a question every single individual must deal with.  It's life's main question.  It's already worded in the first person singular so everyone merely needs to personalize it and make it their own question. "What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" 

Pilate was confronted face to face with the divine Son of God.  In one way or another all reading this are being confronted and probably have many times.  We will simply be unable to use the excuse, "But I didn't know." 

Responses to this question "What shall I do?" vary from outright rejection to ignoring, to procrastinating, to compartmentalized religious lip service.  Do you fit in any of these responses?

The only acceptable answer that pleases God is to express the essence of Peter's great confession of faith, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." This genuine heartfelt confession will lead to a daily submission to the Lordship of Jesus.

Jesus came into the world "to seek and to save that which was lost" but was violently rejected by many and He continues to be rejected, often violently. This is also true of His followers including some reading this today.  The apostle John wrote, "He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him" (John 1:11).  And for the last 2,000 years men and women continue to be confronted with the choice whether to receive or reject. 

Pilate's question, "What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" is life's most important question. In one sense this question is dealt with when we receive Christ as our Savior, but there's another sense that it's an ongoing daily question. Today we have a choice whether or not to submit to the Lordship and Kingdom of Jesus Christ.  We hopehttp://www.dailyencouragement.net/images/seascapes/newport_sunset2.jpg each reader will choose to do so.  We proclaim again today, "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord!"

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily prayer: Father, today we choose to receive or reject Your Redeemer Son, Jesus, who took on our sins and died in our place so that we might find salvation now and for all eternity.  Thank You for the free will You give us that allows us to reject or receive this "Jesus, who is called Christ."  When given the choice we like Peter respond, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life."    

Personal note: For the next several days we will be visiting a friend in the DC area and expect to also travel out to western Maryland. We hope to continue to publish these messages but may be unable to do so each day.

Interesting note: Last week we shared a message about the Potter's House at Sturbridge Village: Ken Wish, a minister friend from Maine made this observation: Carol and I were visiting in Sturbridge one time about 12 years ago and I too got fascinated by the Potter in the village. Carol and I went in and I got into a conversation with the Potter that day and reflected with him about the Jeremiah passage that you used as the Scripture today. It turned out that he too was a Christian and we had a great couple of hours of reflecting on and rejoicing in the grace of God. Carol in the meantime went ahead and returned for me ready to call it a day. But it was interesting to see the reactions of people who came and went while we were fellowshipping there in the Potter's house. It also sure helped my preaching on the passage (which I did a couple of weeks later). It was not coincidental that I had been reading that passage that morning before we left to go to Sturbridge.

Today we also received a note from Robert Cottrill who has an interesting blog called "WordWise Hymns" dealing with birthdays of famous hymn writers. He pointed out that today is the birthday of Priscilla Jane Owens who wrote the hymn, "We have an Anchor" featured in a message we shared two weeks ago.
"We have An Anchor"  Video  

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Click on the link to open and play.
(In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"Come To Jesus"  Video  

Several commented on the house in the background of yesterday's photo and were curious about the type of siding.  It's actually an old brick farmhouse but for some reason my camera distorted it.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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